Thursday, February 09, 2006

African Nations Cup

I won't claim to be an expert on African football (to be honest, I'm not really an expert in anything), but on the eve of the African Nations Cup final, it would seem at least worthy of a blog post.

I'm mostly interested in how the teams performed relative to their world ranking, and also in the results of the five teams headed to Germany '06 (Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Tunisia).

So, I've crudely ranked the performances of the teams in the ANC, using the following rudimentary formula:
  • top 4 teams are ranked based on the results of the 1st place and 3rd place matches
  • quarterfinal losers take spots 5-8, with group stage points and overall goal difference used as a tie-breaker
  • group stage 3rd and 4th place finishers ranked by points and goal difference
Without further ado, here are the 16 teams ranked, with FIFA ranking given in parentheses (list updated 2/11/2006)
  1. Egypt (32)
  2. Côte d'Ivoire (42)
  3. Nigeria (24)
  4. Senegal (30)
  5. Cameroon (23), 9 pts, +6
  6. Guinea (77), 9 pts, +5
  7. Tunisia (28), 6 pts, +2
  8. DR Congo (78), 4 pts, -3
  9. Angola (63), 4 pts, -1
  10. Ghana (50), 3 pts, -1
  11. Zimbabwe (53), 3 pts, -3
  12. Zambia (58), 3 pts, -3
  13. Morocco (35), 2 pts, -1
  14. Libya (80), 1 pt, -4
  15. Togo (56), 0 pts, -5
  16. South Africa (49), 0 pts, -5
A few quick observations: of the Germany-qualified teams, only Didier Drogba's Côte d'Ivoire has done well which, given the draw, makes me nervous as a Dutch supporter. On the other hand, Togo must be really worried about its chances. It should also be interesting to see how these results affect February's FIFA rankings (due on the 15th). Expect a big jump for Guinea, who beat three higher-ranked sides, and scored a bunch of goals in the process. Côte d'Ivoire should also get a nice boost.

A quick prediction for tomorrow's final: Egypt, with the home crowd behind them, beat Côte d'Ivoire 2-1. update: That was a typo. Of course I meant that Egypt would win in penalties after missing an extra time PK.

Up-late-date: One immediate rankings-related consequence of the ANC is that champions Egypt have moved up to 4th (!) position in the now-even-more-ridiculous mondfoot rankings.


Orikinla Osinachi. said...

I am a Nigerian and I watched the recently concluded African Nations Cup held in Egypt. I agree with your opinions on the rankings of the African nations based on their last performances.

God bless.

J said...

You must be happy to see your Nigerians crack the FIFA top 20. Probably not much of a consolation for failing to qualify for Germany, but as a Canadian myself, I can feel your pain.